Could Firing Squads Be Making A Comeback?

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May 18, 2014 9:23am PST

As the controversial subject of capital punishment continues to rage on as the left and right battle it out, a Senator has recently suggested bringing back the firing squad as a method of execution. As earlier this month a death row inmate fell victim to a botched lethal injection, some are seeking more effective and humane ways.

The proposal was brought up by Utah Republican Senator Paul Ray after learning after the (sort of) failed execution of Clayton Lockett. According to reports, Lockett survived the lethal injection but was subject to a collapsed vein resulting in a heart attack – and ultimately his death – a staggering 40 minutes later.

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Failure to execute – no pun intended – the procedure was on account of states inability to acquire traditional barbiturates due to shortage. As a result, those carrying out the punishment have had to resort to newer, experimental concoctions to get the job done.

As we’ve seen, these don’t always work as effectively and humane as hoped for leading to Senators such as Ray to bring up alternative means. Speaking on firing squads, Ray conveyed, “It sounds like the Wild West, but it’s probably the most humane way to kill somebody.”

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“The prisoner dies instantly. It sounds draconian. It sounds really bad, but the minute the bullet hits your heart, you’re dead. There’s no suffering,” he added. “There’s no easy way to put somebody to death, but you need to be efficient and effective about it. This is certainly one way to do that.”

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Others however don’t necessarily agree – especially those in opposition of capital punishment entirely – as the executive director of the Washington, DC based Death Penalty Information Center, Richard Dieter explains, “It’s possible an inmate could move or shooters could miss, causing the inmate a slow and painful death.”

What do you guys think – is the firing squad humane? Let us know your thoughts on this in a comment below.

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